Title: Products, interiors, events, ideas
Pages: 58 - 63
Text: Products, interiors, events, ideas
This regular review is intended to provide a cross section of interesting items from a variety of sources-and to reveal some of the current attitudes which are affecting the world of design. This month, the subjects include an important exhibition of jewellery and silverware, a selection of well designed luggage, and an unusual shop in Vienna.
Goodbye to all that
Encore, designed by A. H. Woodfull for BIP Gaydon Ltd, should remove the last vestiges of prejudice against the use of plastics for tableware. The clean, plain shapes and subtle colours make the range elegant enough for even the most fastidious diner. The tableware, which is made from Melmex melamine, comes in three colours, called Spanish Olive,
Devon Brown, and Atlantic Blue. Cups, bowls and jugs are dark on the outside, with a matching light tone on the inside. Saucers and plates are available either dark or light, so that sets can be mixed or matched at will.
The range comprises dinner, dessert and tea plates, a cup, saucer, cereal bowl, sugar bowl, milk and -ream jug. Encore can be bought in sets, starting with a six piece pack at £13s 6d, or individually.
Convenient kitchen utensils
Anyone who's ever spent a frustrating 10 minutes searching through drawers and cupboards for their favourite kitchen knife will welcome the range of knives and tools, above right, designed by Tapio Wirkkala. Hanging the tools by their blades instead of their handles adds to the convenience of the arrangement. The blades are of stainless steel and the handles nylon. Called Red Point, they are available in Britain and cost from 10s 9d a piece. Mr Wirkkala also designed the knife shown in the illustration, top. This sells at about £2 1 7s.
Another range of kitchen equipment along more traditional lines is shown, above left. It was designed by Olof Bachstrom for Oy Fiskars AB. The two rather sinister looking instruments, in the top right hand corner of the illustration, re a steak softener and fish scraper respectively. The handles of all the items are nylon, the blades stainless steel. The range, except for the steak softener and fish scraper, is also available in Britain. Prices start at 16s for the small knife and rise to £1 17s 6d for the larger items.
Winners from Australia
The furniture shown here, designed by Fred Lowen of the Fler Co, Melbourne, was recently awarded the Good Design label by the Industrial Design Council of Australia. The chair bodies are constructed on a wood frame, and textile elastic webbing is used for the seat support. The seat and back cushions are of latex foam rubber and, for a touch of luxury, the head pillow is filled with eider down. The skid base is of Tasmanian blackwood.
For (sturdy) executives
The Spartanite Executive-Twin case, accepted recently for Design Index, contains two compartments - one for papers, one for overnight wear separated by a central partition which acts as a writing surface. A deep document pocket, a fitted pencil holder and a travel wallet in one side, and a snap off wet pack in the other, add to the traveller's convenience. The case is entirely moulded from polypropylene, which gives it rigidity and resilience, but also makes it rather heavy to carry (it weighs 64 lb). The good balance of the case, however helps to compensate for this. It is made by the Spartan Luggage Co Ltd and sells at about £10 10s. It is available in black, brown and grey.
Hot stuff for the patient
The Helitherm tray, shown here, is designed for use in hospitals with a centralised kitchen, where the problem is to keep the food hot on its way to the patient. The tray is made in glass fibre reinforced polyester, double walled to insulate the dishes which fit into moulded spaces. The other components are a heavy white porcelain heat retaining platter, a porcelain cup and beaker, two plastic bowls, egg cup or small container, and cutlery. The platter and bowls have plastic lids, and when used with the insulated tray and pre-heated platter, the whole served meal retains its temperature for a considerable time and can be delivered to the wards in unheated trolleys. Considerable research on patient preferences and hospital needs went into the design of this tray. The plastics components in pale grey and blue were found to be most acceptable to sick people, and the shapes are simple and hygienic. The tray was designed by Hugo Lindstrom and is made by Helimatic Ltd.
Sitzmobel auf Deutschland
The 533 chair, illustrated here, is made by Walter Knoll and Co (Germany). It stacks ingeniously and simply and, just as important, it can be unpacked with ease. A multipurpose chair, it is suitable for cafes, hotels, offices and schools, as well as for the home - where it would make a particularly useful dining chair. The firm also supplies neat linking devices for the chairs. Contract furniture manufactured by Walter Knoll and Co was illustrated in DESIGN 194/62.
Made from expanded vinyl backed with cotton, the luggage shown here is tough, light to carry and cheap. The plump, two handled bag, far right, going under the name of Twosome, combines a zippered holdall top with a separate zippered base. This seems an ideal sportsman's bag -the lower compartment taking muddy boots and soiled gear, the top, clean clothes. The bag sells at about £412s. The Overnighter Plus bag, middle, is a combination case and matching portfolio. The inside lid is fitted with a zippered compartment for shirts, etc. Designed for the businessman, it would also make a useful, small holiday suitcase (passports, papers and tickets in the portfolio). The bag, black only, costs just under £5. The Barrister Case, right, a neat piece of equipment for the professional man (or woman) costs just under £2 and is available in black or brown. All the items are designed and made by Sewing Industries Ltd. They have been accepted for Design Index.
New centre in Spain
These photographs show two views of the design centre which opened in Barcelona at the end of last year. Housed in the College of Architects of Catalonia, the centre is run jointly by the college and the Centro di Diseno Industrial. It contains products which have won Delta Awards, the Spanish industrial design awards given during the last three years. Besides showing Spanish products, it is also hoped that the centre will be used for foreign exhibitions and thematic displays.
Outstanding in aluminium
The R.S. Reynolds Memorial Award, administered by the American Institute of Architects and given for "distinguished achievement in architecture, with significant use of aluminium" went this year to a Viennese architect, Hans Hollein. He won the $25,000 award for a tiny speciality candle shop in Vienna. The shop occupies only 12 ft of street frontage and 160 sq. ft of floor space, and Herr Hollein utilised the reflective surface of polished aluminium to give the impression of a much larger area. Almost every fixture in the shop, down to the hinges and packaging for the products, was designed by the architect. Surrounded by ornate late nineteenth century architecture, it is not surprising that the shop "has become a popular conversation piece in Vienna". The illustrations here show the shop front, top left the tiny interior, top right, and a candle display, right.
Swanage library, opened at the end of last year, was designed by the county architect, J. Hurst. The arresting circular design is a modern treatment of the traditional library shape, dictated by the need to have easy central control and supervision The choice of this shape, and the adoption of two floor levels, were also influenced by future road patterns in the town.
The building successfully incorporates the traditional local building material, Purbeck stone, with a reinforced concrete frame structure. Inside, Reska fitments have been chosen to house the books because of their flexibility and ease in use (DESIGN 206/62). The colour scheme throughout is grey, black and white, providing a foil for colourful book jackets. Further colour has been introduced in the ceramic tiles in the central unit, which were made by a local artist and craftsman, Christopher Russell. Careful attention has been paid to detail throughout, including notice boards and signs. Altogether the library represents an exciting addition to the town centre of Swanage.
The display of work, called HallmarkRCA, by silversmiths and jewellers who studied at the Royal College of Art between 1950-1966, was remarkable in size, variety and quality. It is doubtful whether a similar school anywhere else in the world could produce anything comparable in innovation and maturity. The consistently high standard, varying little from year to year or between one designer and another, is notable testimony to the work of Professor Robert Goodden,
Phillip Popham, Tom Boucher, etc. in creating an environment which stimulates and develops designers.
The group of exhibitors could not be accused of conformity, nor was their work monotonous. There was much evidence of an imaginative, controlled use of material, and of a sensitive appreciation of the functions of the articles whether they were ceremonial, domestic or personal. There was also a well developed feeling for scale, appropriate use of decoration in unusual treatments of texture, pattern and colour, and interesting combinations of related materials.
This collection was concrete evidence that designers trained in a craft discipline are capable of developing fresh approaches exploiting material and processes to produce articles which are appropriate to the present variety of needs. The exhibition showed, too, that these designers, when given the opportunity, can make a considerable contribution to industry on an international level. However, it is sad to see that relatively few of the designers have been used in this way. There are obviously sections of industry which could well use this talent, and it is to be hoped that some manufacturers at least have visited the exhibition and recognised the talent that is at their disposal.
The exhibition was imaginativey designed by Valerie Cook of the RCA. The exhibits illustrated here are a gold bracelet, top, designed by Gillian Packard; a silver teapot, middle, by Keith Redfern; and a ceremonial silver salt container, bottom, by Gerald Benney.